The perplexing state of the business landscape is beautifully summed up by journalist Bob Garfield and strategic consultant Doug Levy in their new book Can’t Buy Me Like: How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Results. They write that the current era “is a confounding paradox: an economic revolution that in one critical aspect takes us backward.” Social media and other digital tools enable any business to reach tens of millions of people. Capturing the attention and purchasing power of those individuals in large quantities remains an almost unapproachable mountain for the majority of businesses. In the recently released Soundview Executive Book Summary of Can’t Buy Me Like, Garfield and Levy offer a better method to grow your business in the age they call the “Relationship Era.”
The Relationship Era is the product of four major forces as outlined by Garfield and Levy: the collapse of mass media, the increase of transparency, the rise of social connectivity and the primacy of trust. Garfield and Levy provide extensive insight into the workings of the relationship era. They then guide readers through a multi-step process to navigate the Relationship Era and create a productive interaction between a company and its supporters.
Garfield and Levy call this process “The Shift.” They describe it as “the shift from mass to micro, the shift from top-down to bottom-up and the shift from traditional marketing to purposeful marketing.” Can’t Buy Me Like also signals a critical, positive shift of its own, a shift to a philosophy of authenticity in how a business engages its online audience. Hopefully, executives of organizations big and small will take notice. The summary is an excellent place to start the conversation.